SMS Checker is a ROM identification program, which was primarily coded for use with Sega Master System ROMs. Like SMS Power (which also started aimed at Master System only), the program has since expanded to cover all of the systems which are currently emulated by the superb Meka emulator (which is written by Omar Cornut, who also heads up SMS Power, and started Emulation Camp). SMS checker is written by Maxim and available from

Currently, SMS checker is by far the best ROM renamer for the Sega 8-bit systems. It beats the generic GoodSMS and GoodGG tool developed by Cowering because it is made by a person who is very passionate about Sega 8-bit emulation. Cowering, in addition to making the GoodSMS and GoodGG tools, makes a whole host of other ROM renaming tools. The downside of taking on this amount of work is that he cannot update his tools anywhere near as much as it is necessary to keep up with new dumps / hacks / translation patches being made. Another problem is that due to his effort being spread out so much, he doesn't have time to check each ROM individually and see if they really are good dumps etc. This means that, for the case of Sega 8-bits, SMS checker is far superior, because it is made by a person who check every ROM, and works closely with Omar Cornut at SMS Power. In fact, he gets ROM releases before Omar gives them out to the rest of the contributors to SMS Power, so that they can be added to the program's database quickly. This means that what GoodSMS could identify as a good dump will be a bad dump in SMS Checker. Basically, for the systems it supports, this program is hands down the best. For other systems, alternatives are slowly becoming available (Nach's SNES ROM Tools has just been updated so that it has a SNES database to outdo GoodSNES. How long until it completely supercedes GoodSNES is another matter though...).

SMS Checker is a very flexible program, with a very nice GUI. The program comes with datfiles (containing ROM names, categorisations, and their checksums so they can be easily identified) for the following Meka supported systems:

All these data files are contained in separate .romdata files which can be read with any text editor such as Notepad. This means users can make their own changes, and could easily distribute their own romdata files. The author encourages users who have unknown ROMs for the above systems to send them in so they can be added.

Also included with the standard SMS checker installation is a password protected zip file containing a whole heap more romdata files. To unlock these, you simply need to read the readme file that comes with the program, in which the author explains that these are Work In Progress files, which he is not interested in maintaining. He says that if anyone else wants to maintain these data files, they are more than welcome to get in touch with him. The systems supported in these supplementary data files are:

Overall, SMS Checker has to be one of the best programs like it that I've used. It stands out by having a user friendly GUI (nearly all other programs are command line-based) and plenty of useful features, such as the following:

  • Reads ROMs in zip files.
  • Tests Zip files.
  • Puts ROMs in Zip files.
  • Renames Roms in zip files.
  • Can be set to scan subfolders.
  • Can sort ROMs into different folders according to whether they are good, bad dumps, homebrew games, hacks, translations, unknown, or BIOSes.
  • Generates text printout of "what you don't have" which allows you to coordinate your highly illegal ROM downloading madness.
  • It's damn fast!

I highly recommend this baby. If you're at all into Emulation, head over to and pick up the latest version.

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